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DJ Yoda

Prom Nite

    Dressed in a powder blue suit with the frilly shirt to match, DJ Yoda invites you to be his +1 for ‘Prom Nite’, his new album promising retro Americana full of daydreaming reverie, international megastar guests, trip hop acknowledging the likes of Morcheeba and Nightmares on Wax, and the turntable extraordinaire’s bread and butter of cuts, beats and rhymes.

    Certainly no stranger to retro sounds having famously peppered his DJ and AV sets with the unexpected the world over, and his ‘How to Cut n Paste’ mix series going all the way back to the 30s, Yoda’s harp-laden puppy love vibe spreads from the sweet and mellow sound of 2019’s ‘Home Cooking’, an album described as ‘boundary-breaking’ by Mojo upon slotting nicely into the UK’s blooming jazz canon. Think deliciously harmonised doo-wop murmuring ‘Goodnight Sweetheart’ with an eye for dreamboats en route to Makeout Point – on ‘My Energy’, Eva Lazarus takes the form of an earth angel, with Yoda on jukebox cut-ups, taking it back to starry-eyed, clean cut days of wonder (or more recently, Little Mix’s ‘Love Me Like You’).

    Beginning enigmatically with the assistance of Hollywood A-lister (and former next-door neighbour) Lily James, ‘Breathe’ demonstrate Yoda’s continued evolution as a musician (not to mention shrewd decision maker), with James’ vocal confidence - a little Lana del Rey to her breathiness - returning on the velvet-smooth ‘Airplane Mode’. It’s a smartly executed soundclash accentuated by LA rapper Choosey, the star of the album’s straightest hip-hop shooter ‘Harder I Rock’. Homeboy Sandman adds some kick to the prom punch with typical wordplay sent down ‘Coconut Grove’, and Liam Bailey is perfectly cast for the darkly cinematic sway of ‘Don’t Even Try It’.

    On an album of many talking points, the LP’s crowning glory is opening single ‘Feel Like Home’: featuring the vocal comforts of the House Gospel Choir, it’s your go–to pick-me-up when the chips are down, targeting the hairs on the backs of necks like a softer focus version of Jamie xx’s ‘Loud Places’. Extended into an alternative, equally uplifting form by Beardyman’s ‘Don’t Mean Thing’, summer festival season already has its homecoming anthem.

    With tongues wagging, the twists and turns step away from Heartbreak Ridge when O Love tucks into the mouthwatering shopping list funk of ‘Way Home’; and ‘Lesson 1956’, featuring Jamie Cullum and DJ Woody, jauntily pays homage to classic Cut Chemist alchemy, Yoda’s celebrated turntable tomfoolery back in full effect and extending the flavours found in ‘Home Cooking’.

    Again maximising the experience and enjoyment gained from recording live instruments and prioritising songs over beats, Yoda continues to progress with a mixture of risk-taking, elite musicianship, nostalgia brought bang up to date, and ultimately, good clean fun capable of stirring your soul, making ‘Prom Nite’ a date to remember.



    TRACK LISTING

    1. Breathe (feat. Lily James)
    2. Coconut Grove (feat. Homeboy Sandman)
    3. Don't Even Try It (feat. Liam Bailey)
    4. Lesson 1956 (feat. Jamie Cullum & DJ Woody)
    5. My Energy (feat. Eva Lazarus)
    6. Feel Like Home (feat. The House Gospel Choir)
    7. Airplane Mode (feat. Lily James & Choosey)
    8. Harder I Rock (feat. Choosey)
    9. Way Home (feat. O. Love)
    10. Don’t Mean A Thing (feat. Beardyman)

    For fans of Khruangbin, El Michels Affair, Tame Impala and Bonobo. “I spent a while thinking about the title for this album; it was quite hard to pin down the feeling I felt it represented. At a certain point I realized it was nostalgia, for everything; our life passed by, childhood, moments of happiness and sadness, where we grew up”. – Skinshape.

    Will Dorey aka Skinshape has proven himself time and again as a connoisseur for the cosmopolitan, across a prolific career expertly exploring understated sounds and theatrical textures. Taking his place alongside the likes of Khruangbin, Tame Impala, Bonobo and Madlib, Skinshape’s global kaleidoscopes are loaded with warmth and wisdom created on vintage analogue equipment applying a perfectionist’s touch. As a former member of indie band Palace, he has played everywhere from Glastonbury and BBC Maida Vale to headlining Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Conversely as a solo artist Skinshape has never played live preferring to record, releasing an album a year (two in 2020’s lockdown) and keeping away from the trappings of stardom.

    Full of gilded guitars, tantalizing Rhodes, languid strings and chords that fill the soul with joy - "Nostalgia" is the perfect accompaniment for road trips through the countryside and afternoon languishing by the riverside. Recommended! 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: A beautifully vibrant, relaxed, and heart warming album that sits alongside it's current contemporaries in fine style. Every group of friends’ve got someone who can make baggy pants and a floral shirt look good, and this album is that person!

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Theme For Lazarus
    2. Better Chances
    3. Dreams Of Panama
    4. Moonlight Walk
    5. Albion
    6. High Tide, Storm Rising
    7. Turn Away
    8. Bohanon's Cornucopia
    9. Bad Dreams
    10. Fish & Chips
    11. Dawn

    DJ Yoda Feat Joel Culpepper

    London Fields

    R&B Star joins Yoda for a London anthem. Smooth jazzy R&B sounds combine Yoda’s lush prodection with Joel Culpepper sublime vocals. Culpepper has collaborated with the likes of Swindle and supported Stevie Wonder and Lalah Hathaway to name but two.

    TRACK LISTING

    A. London Fields
    B. London Fields Instrumental

    Taken from the ‘Home Cooking’ album. The name DJ Yoda needs no introduction and joined with rising UK Jazz star Nubya Garcia and legendary emcee Edo. G, ‘Roxbury’ is a sublime mix of Rap, Jazz and Soul. Perfect summer vibes! Recorded between DJ Yoda’s studio and the acclaimed Abbey Road, the record is influenced by Guru’s ‘Jazzmatazz’.

    TRACK LISTING

    A. Roxbury Ft Nubya Garcia And Edo. G
    B. Roxbury Instrumental

    Skinshape

    I Didn’t Know (Extended) / I Didn’t Know (Dub)

      With over 15000,000 (yes, fifteen million!) plays on YouTube and over 2,000,000 on Spotify we thought it was only fair that Skinshape’s most popular song was released on glorious vinyl. The track is already on the ‘Filoxiny’ album so Skinshape extended the mix and backed it with a dub version for the flip. Skinshape is the project of British musician William Dorey. The sound has roots in many genres but in particular 1960s Funk, Soul, Reggae, Psychedelic Rock, Afrobeat and Folk.

      Aside from the Skinshape project Dorey was bassist for the band Palace from 2014-2017 and also runs a reggae label called Horus Records based in North London. About I Didn’t Know from Dorey himself: “This is the most 'pop' song I've possibly ever made, and possibly the most 'modern' sounding. It is about being in a difficult relationship and not knowing how to deal with it and making mistakes as a result. I wrote and recorded most of the song around the drum pattern, and created some (terrible sounding) digital orchestral parts temporarily whilst I created the body of the song. I recorded the strings and horns in the last part of the recording process before doing the final mixes. The horns were recorded separately with the help of my long-time friend (since school) and master arranger Jon Moody (of the group Franc Moody).”

      The many monikered, multifaceted genre smasher Leron Thomas, nowadays better known as Bill Callahan-sounding outsidere MC Pan Amsterdam, switches into his OG jazz mode with the scattershot mastery of 'More Elevator Music'. Taking the first three tracks as a sample of the wanton eclecticism of the LP, Leron opens with a meditative modern jazz piece, then fuzzes out with Iggy Pop for a avant jazz punk snarler, before aping naive house on the electronic oddball "People Are Watching". Wildly creative and insanely catchy tackle from this perennial boundary pusher.

      TRACK LISTING

      Side A:

      1. Conference Room
      2. In The City (Feat. Iggy Pop)
      3. People Are Watching
      4. IFeel
      5. Fox Wit
      6. Audacious Pigeons

      Side B

      1. Veins
      2. IDo
      3.. Blind
      4. Endicott
      5. Corporate
      6. Field Trip

      Skinshape

      Umoja

        Fifth studio album featuring Malcolm Catto, D'Alma, Idd Aziz and Modou Touré. Includes the singles Sua Alma, In The End and Afande. His most accomplished album to date Will Dorey aka Skinshape moved out of his comfort zone to create a new sound while retaining his trademark feel. While Skinshape has often been influenced by African music ‘Umoja’ directly incorporates styles and rhythms from the continent. Drawing on London’s vast talent pool from across the globe collaborators bring the essence of Senegal, Portugal, Ghana and Kenya via Norway no name but a few.

        The initial plan was to travel to various African nations to record ‘Umoja’. This proved to be an unnecessary step because Skinshape's hometown of London ended up bearing many fruits. It was a challenging project for Dorey taking a year and a half of dedicated work to complete with many ideas left unfinished along the way. The album has a very global feel which was enhanced at the end of the process by a collaboration with Japanese painter Ken-ichi Omura. Fans of Skinshape’s distinctive voice will not be disappointed as he features on ‘In The End’ and ‘Sun’. Long-time friend and collaborator Jon Moody (from the band Franc Moody) wrote the album’s horn parts. 

        TRACK LISTING

        Side 1
        1 Sua Alma (feat. D'Alma)
        2 In The End
        3 Afande (feat. Idd Aziz)
        4 Kourou (feat. Modou Touré)
        5 Azon De Ma Gnin..

        Side 2
        6 Amigos E Inimigos (feat. D'Alma)
        7 Sunny Day
        8 Sudan (feat. Idd Aziz)
        9 Dourlé (feat. Modou Touré)
        10 Lehin Ti Aye Ba Iku

        A soul and jazz spreading of wings, with the help of scene headliners Nubya Garcia, Theon Cross and Henry Wu. ‘Home Cooking’ is the new, mature sound of DJ Yoda. Maximising the experience and enjoyment gained from recording live instruments and prioritising songs over beats for his previous two albums ‘Breakfast of Champions’ and ‘Chop Suey’, this is a big step for the cut-and-paster as a producer, having wowed the world over for over two decades with his celebrated turntable tomfoolery. Recorded between his own studio and the world famous Abbey Road, ‘Home Cooking’ keeps one foot in the hip-hop old school with collaborations with the returning Jungle Brothers (the party-starting ‘Afrika’) and Boston bastion Edo. G (a peaceful route from London to ‘Roxbury’), and spreads to a melodic vibe scoring chilled Sunday mornings.

        “I titled this one ‘Home Cooking’ because the music is so close to my heart, in terms of what I grew up on, and what really speaks to me on a personal level”. Imbued with the spirit of Guru’s ‘Jazzmatazz’, the output of Acid Jazz and 90s vitals from the Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, Yoda admits that it's a happy accident that, whilst drawing on jazzy, soulful hip-hop from 25 years ago, the sound of ‘Home Cooking’ is very much of-the-moment. With British jazz currently in the rudest of health, vigorously championed by Gilles Peterson and with the likes of Sons of Kemet receiving Mercury Prize recognition to show such an upsurge has not gone unnoticed, Yoda lines up some of the best musicians the scene has to offer.

        Sons of Kemet member and tuba sharp shooter Theon Cross, fast-rising saxophonist and boundary breaker Nubya Garcia, and award-winning jazz alchemist Henry Wu on keys, put ‘Home Cooking’ in the safest, most nimble of hands. “I feel so lucky to have been able to work with musicians of this calibre”. Add in the vocals of Brit-soul legend and MBE Omar, BBC Introducing star/“the UK's answer to Frank Ocean" Joel Culpepper, (‘London Fields’, played as a live six-piece session for BBC Radio London) and big gun for hire Eva Lazarus (a prominent feature on Swindle’s ‘No More Normal’, an album that runs parallel to ‘Home Cooking’), and the timing of Yoda’s sound expansion, plotted across London and beyond, has been impeccable. “It’s just lucky that right now is such a great moment for UK jazz, and that coinciding with me making this album - it certainly wasn’t by design. I didn’t set out to necessarily make something with such a strong jazz and soul influence, but at one point I took a step back and listened to everything I’d made, and it had accidentally, or subconsciously, turned out like that”. 

        TRACK LISTING

        1. London Fields
        2. Thornton Heath
        3. Rising Brook
        4. Gospel Oak (CD Only Track)
        5. Kingswood
        6. Abbey Road
        7. Roxbury
        8. Soweto
        9. Hither Green
        10. Afrika
        11. Croxley Green
        12. Eastville
        13. Boundary Gardens


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